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Proposal to the Local Landscape Partnership for Upgrading Menstrie Glen and Burn

Long neglected by Councils and Community, Menstrie Glen is one of the most picturesque in the Hillfoots and, in common with other glens, played a role in establishing the village of Menstrie, providing water power to allow the development of mills and industry along its path. Our proposal encompasses the Glen, Burn and surrounding areas and sets out to re-instate visual, historical and sustainable features for the benefit of both the local communities, visitors and tourists, Menstrie being the first Clackmannanshire village as you approach the County from the west.

The following points outline the proposed project but are only an indication of the vision.

Elements of the proposal

The glen is now overgrown and largely inaccessible. Our project proposes the following:

  1. The building and installation of a working waterwheel powered by water from the burn as in the past. The wheel in turn would power a hydro-electric generator. The location of the wheel would be around where the original wheel stood, the foundation stones for it are still to be seen just up the burn from the Scout Hall and hopefully they will be re-used to mount the new wheel system.
  2. Clearance of the scrub, weeds and dead trees along the lower reaches of the glen would allow the natural vista, the historical remnants of ancient mills and the new wheel to be fully appreciated.
  3. Establish a walking route via the hill access and returning via wooden walkways along the lower reaches of the glen culminating in a viewing platform with interpretation boards.
  4. The electricity generated would be utilised (either directly or via the National Grid) to illuminate the Glen, Bridge and Burn down to the area around the new bridge.
  5. Landscaping the burnside to the road bridge, creating flower beds and also new tree planting. Below the road bridge, work would be carried out to reveal more of the burn than can now be enjoyed whilst replanting with indigenous tree species.
  6. Installing natural seating and features adjacent to the approach to Menstrie Castle, now part of the Tower Trail, an important destination for visitors.
  7. Clearing and landscaping the lower burn to the new bridge and culvert within the Gladale scheme to provide an avenue type walk for residents and walkers, eventually linking to the Core-path network with links to Tullibody and Stirling via the disused railway.
  8. Creation of increased car parking adjacent to the old bridge. Clean and repair pointing on the old bridge.

Possibilities for Employment

The resulting project would link to the upgraded woodland walk, giving access to easy-medium walks for all ages and abilities to woodland, hills and glen and also to proposed wildlife ponds and wetlands. As the core-path network evolves this would allow access to all the above by direct walkways from Stirling University area.

Where possible we would envisage working with Heritage groups and Scottish Heritage leading to utilising traditional skills and crafts. We would hope to include local youth in gaining new skills which would be used on the project and also lead them into new, diverse career paths. With the proposed extension to the Dumyat centre also providing possible employment opportunities, this would lend itself to a short term visitors centre.

If funding became available we would like to move on from this project to establish an information centre within the area where manned and unmanned information would be available for visitors.

All the above would naturally tie in with the new Menstrie website guiding visitors to all the attractions the village has to offer, the first stopping point could be Midtown gardens where new planting, flagpoles and public art would provide a visual focus on entering the area.

October 2008

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